Toxic Tort Litigation

A wide variety of substances either alleged or known to be harmful are commonly used in many types of manufacturing. Despite best efforts, employees and consumers can be exposed to these substances. When claims and lawsuits arise alleging injury or disease from exposure to chemicals, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s toxic tort attorneys are fully equipped and ready to counsel clients and resolve matters—by trial, if necessary.

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP has litigated the full range of chemical exposure/toxic tort cases involving personal injury and property damage. The firm’s legal expertise and scientific/technical background have resulted in effective handling of claims involving the following:

  • Toxins and fibers (including asbestos and silica)
  • Propane
  • Diesel fumes
  • Latex
  • Diacetyl/butter flavoring
  • Radiation
  • PCBs
  • Mold
  • Benzene
  • Polycarbonate plastic bottles
  • CO
  • Dioxin
  • Lead
  • BETX
  • Chlorine
  • MEK
  • MTBE

The firm’s use of sophisticated computers, information databases, and paralegal specialists fosters efficient, practical claim evaluation and resolution.

In its capacity as national and regional counsel for product manufacturers and premises owners in mass tort and toxic tort litigation, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP has effectively coordinated and managed recurrent litigation filed in state and federal courts throughout the country. Our role has included:

  • Client document review, witness identification and preparation, and defense strategy development
  • Preparation and coordination of discovery responses and document production nationwide
  • Preparation of deposition outlines and questionnaires for local counsel use
  • Review and approval of all pleadings
  • Development, preparation and presentation of all corporate witnesses
  • Defense strategy development, both generally and on a case-specific basis, and  development and presentation of defense expert witnesses
  • Research, preparation and cross-examination of plaintiff’s expert witnesses
  • Product testing
  • Trial

Firm attorneys also have broad experience in mass litigation, including “Multidistrict Litigation” proceedings (MDL), medical monitoring class actions, and multi-plaintiff filings and trials. Our class action experience has included asbestos, medical monitoring, latex gloves, consumer fraud, polycarbonate plastic bottles, groundwater contamination (including drinking water), hazardous waste and others.


Chicago, Madison County, July 30, 2015
Associate General Counsel, Lateral Associates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces the arrival of a new partner and three lateral associates, including one to its Madison County, Ill. office.

Chicago, July 23, 2015
Drumke Caps TIPS Chairmanship With ABA Annual Conference, Awards Ceremonies

With over 25,000 members and 32 general committees, TIPS is one of the ABA’s largest sections.

Chicago, June 2, 2015
Wahl Elected to IDC Board of Directors

Wahl and fellow newly elected directors will be recognized at the IDC's Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon

Chicago, May 18. 2015
ABA TIPS Chair Drumke Offers "View From the Chair"

Drumke writes about the return he has received on his involvement with TIPS for the past 20 years.

Chicago, May 4, 2015
ABA Introduces Section Officers Conference Chair-Elect Drumke in Publication

Elected the 2015-2017 Chair of the Section Officers Conference, Drumke will commence his two-year term at the close of the 2015 ABA Annual Meeting.

Chicago, February 26, 2015
Drumke Named Chair-Elect of ABA Section Officers Conference

The Section Officers Conference is the organizing body for all ABA Sections, Divisions and Forums and works to advance the interests of those entities within the ABA.

Chicago, February 20, 2015
Drumke Shares "View from The Chair" in ABA Publication

Drumke, Chair of the ABA's TIPS Section, writes about fair funding for the courts.

Chicago, February 18, 2015
Legal Talk Network Interviews Drumke at ABA Midyear Meeting

Drumke discusses his role as chair, TIPS' involvement with the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, and the opportunities TIPS offers its members.


Chicago, January 15, 2015
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names New Partners

Six associates were recently named partners, including one in St. Louis.

Chicago, October 24, 2014
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP's Indiana Practice, New Attorneys Highlighted in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Article

With an increasing workload in the Hoosier State, Swanson, Martin & Bell LLP has added a lateral partner and four lateral associates over the past five months.

Chicago, October 20, 2014
Drumke Offers "View From The Chair" in ABA Publication

Drumke announces the the inaugural TIPS section conference in his first letter as TIPS Chair.

Chicago, October 9, 2014
Drumke Tells TortSource About "When I Was a Young Lawyer"

Drumke answers questions about his career and offers advice for new lawyers in the Summer 2014 issue of TortSource.

Chicago, September 24, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Highlights Merger with Kernell Law Firm

Swanson, Martin & Bell now has nearly 120 attorneys in five offices, including offices in Chicago, Lisle and Libertyville.

Chicago, September 23, 2014
Kernell Law Firm Attorneys Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, SMB Opens St. Louis and Madison County Offices

“We believe our new St. Louis and Madison County offices will provide the same excellent service that clients have come to expect from Tom Kernell and his team, while expanding the services we offer our present clients,” said Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Managing Partner Timothy G. Nickels.

Chicago, August 21, 2014
Three Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers

Drumke, Martin and Wills were named to Best Lawyers in various practice areas.

Chicago, August 13, 2014
Drumke Elected Chair of ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

Chicago, June 17, 2014
Wahl Receives Rising Star Award at IDC Awards Reception

Wahl also received the Meritorious Award and the President's Commendation.

Chicago, June 4, 2014
Lateral Associates, New Grad Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP welcomes three associates, including one who was recently sworn in to the Illinois Bar.

Chicago, April 16, 2014
McNamara Speaks at ISBA Civil Practice Seminars

McNamara will address post-trial motions appellate issues. Robert R. McNamara focuses his practice in product liability, toxic tort and utility litigation

Chicago, January 13, 2014
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names New Equity, Non-Equity Partners

Two were elected equity partners and two were elected non-equity partners.

Chicago, November 20, 2013
Wisniewski Judges ABA Student Employment Trial Advocacy Competition

Teams from law schools nationwide will compete as plaintiffs and defendants in labor and employment-related matters, with Wisniewski and fellow attorneys serving as judges and evaluators.

Chicago, October 30, 2013
Drumke Speaks at DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar

Drumke will address "Defending the Rest—Basics on Lung Cancer, Other Cancers, and Asbestosis: Review of the B-Read and Pulmonary Function Testing."

Chicago, August 13, 2013
Drumke Named Chair-Elect of ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

With over 25,000 members and 32 general committees, TIPS unites plaintiff, defense, insurance and corporate counsel to advance the civil justice system in one of the ABA’s largest sections.

Chicago, July 9, 2013
Seven Lateral Attorneys Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP

Four partners and three associates have recently joined the firm's Chicago office.

Chicago, April 19, 2013
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Awarded Summary Judgment in Trace Benzene Case

The Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County rejected the plaintiffs' claim that trace amounts of benzene in the defendant’s aerosols and liquids led the decedent to develop acute myeloid leukemia.

Chicago, Lisle, August 22, 2012
Two Associates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP's Chicago, Lisle Offices

Erica S. Longfield joins the Chicago office, while Kevin L. Sterk practices in the Lisle office.

Chicago, August 6, 2012
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP's Drumke Elected Vice Chair of ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

Drumke's term commences a three-year leadership track as an ABA Section Officer.

Chicago, March 20, 2012
Product Liability Law360 Profiles Drumke

The publication highlighted new Partner Michael W. Drumke's experience in toxic tort and product liability litigation.

Chicago, March 19, 2012
Toxic Tort Team, Former Patent Examiner Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP welcomes four lateral attorneys to its Chicago office.

Chicago, January 23, 2012
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names New Partners

The firm's new partners focus on a variety of practice areas.

Chicago, January 10, 2012
Lateral Attorney, New Law School Graduates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP

The firm welcomes three new law school graduates and one lateral attorney to the Chicago office.

Chicago, October 27, 2011
Four Lateral Associates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP

All are associates in the firm's Chicago office.

Chicago, June 14, 2011
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Moderate, Speak at Benzene Litigation Conference Audiocast

Two Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP attorneys are participating in an upcoming Benzene Litigation Conference Audiocast.

Chicago, February 4, 2011
Fitzpatrick Gives Purdue Students Tips for Building a Career

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Partner George F. Fitzpatrick, Jr. spoke to Purdue University College of Liberal Arts students about his legal career as part of the college’s “LA Influentials” lecture/discussion course.

Chicago, October 26, 2010
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorney Named President of Indiana University Maurer School of Law Alumni Board

Angela Karras Neboyskey, of counsel at Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, is the 2011 President of the Alumni Board of Directors for the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

Chicago, August 4, 2010
Fitzpatrick Presents at 2010 National Forum for Environmental & Toxic Tort Issues

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Partner George F. Fitzpatrick, Jr. will be a presenter at the National Forum for Environmental & Toxic Tort Issues (FETTI) in Chicago.

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